Smithers Saltos gymnasts takes part in a skills and strength test during the 2012 Aloha Invitational in Smithers June 15-16.

Smithers Saltos gymnasts takes part in a skills and strength test during the 2012 Aloha Invitational in Smithers June 15-16.

Smithers Saltos says Aloha to an outstanding season

The Smithers Saltos Gymnastics club brought their 2012 competitive season to a close last weekend with their annual Aloha Invitational.

The Smithers Saltos Gymnastics club brought their 2012 competitive season to a close last weekend with their annual Aloha Invitational.

The competition was one of the largest in the north so far this year as well as one of the biggest that Smithers Saltos have ever hosted.

“We had a good rage of competition in each category,” Saltos head coach, Alana Jensen said.

“It was probably one of the largest competitions in the north so far this year.”

More than 150 participants competed in the final meet of the season with teams travelling from Williams Lake, Quesnel, Prince George, Terrace and Kitimat.

Being the largest club in the north, the Smithers Saltos had 70 competitors at their home meet and achieved some promising results.

“We did really well. It was a good way to end off the season,” Jensen said.

“We had a little break from our main competition season, so they were able to add in some new skills into their routines for next year.”

Jensen said she was most impressed by her younger athletes, noting over the season she’s seen a real improvement as her team continues to pursue a higher level of competition in the north and across the province.

“I think one group I was really impressed with was my little kids,” she said.

“Our pre-novice endeavour program, geared toward a higher level of gymnastics, have been working hard all year and definitely have gotten stronger in all their routines and are now able to move on to the next level.”

Although it was a great competition, it also marked the end of one of the most successful gymnastics careers the Saltos have seen in recent years. Shawni Hayhurst competed for the last time as a Saltos gymnast, and has become an inspiration for younger athletes as they look over her achievements here in Smithers.

The Saltos will also be welcoming their new coach, Nik Sarkovic, from Serbia later this summer, who they hope will bring some new ideas to the table.

“I’m looking forward to having someone with a new perspective on our gymnastics programs, especially coaching the boys,” said Jensen.

“He was part of the junior national mens team in Serbia and has a lot of experience in that respect.”

“We’ve become such a big program that we really need another coach. We’ll be able to offer a wider variety of programs and have some new insight into the development of our programs.”

The Saltos start their summer camps and programs July 9, and registration is ongoing. This year they’re offering parent and toddler classes as well as a themed gymnastics camp teaching gymnastic skills, crafts and outdoor activities.

For more information contact the Smithers Saltos at 250-847-3547.